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P5 Max in the mix at Monza

Highlights

  • Max qualifies P5 as Ferrari and Mercedes lock out first two rows.
  • Daniel takes strategic PU penalties and sits out Q2.
  • Raikkonen on pole with the fastest ever lap in F1 history.
  • Vettel and Hamilton start P2 and P3 for tomorrow's race.

Max will start the Italian Grand Prix from fifth place on the grid, while Daniel is set for a high-speed charge from the back of the field after sitting out Q2 in light of planned engine-related grid penalties for tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix.

Max was comfortable in Q1, sitting out the early exchanges in which eventual pole position man Kimi Räikkönen set the pace.

Then, after Sebastian Vettel had moved to the front ahead of Räikkönen and Mercedes Lewis Hamilton, Max took the track and set a time 1:21.391. That was good enough for an eventual sixth place in the session as the Dutchman opted to sit out the final part of the segment.

Daniel, who is facing a series of PU-related penalties for tomorrow’s race, completed just a single late run in the session, but it was enough to see him through to Q2 in fourth place ahead of the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.

As the session drew to a close the drop zone featured Williams’ Lance Stroll, McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne, the twin Toro Rossos of Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly and Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg, who also faces engine-related penalties tomorrow, as well as a 10-place penalty for sparking the Turn 1 accident at the start of last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.

It was the Renault driver who managed to drag himself furthest up the order with a time good enough for 10th. Gasly and Stroll also made it into Q2 with the Toro Rosso driver finishing in P12, four thousandths of a second ahead of the Williams man.

That meant Racing Point Force India’s Sergio Perez was eliminated in P16 ahead of Sauber’s Charles Leclerc, Hartley, the second Sauber of Marcus Ericsson and McLaren’s Vandoorne.

The second segment again saw Max progress with minimum fuss. The Dutchman opened his Q2 account with a time of 1:21.008 that was good enough for P5. Then, in the final run of the session he found more time, getting down to a best time of 1:20.333, enough to see him finish in P4, behind a top three of Vettel, Hamilton and Räikkonen and in front of Bottas.

Daniel, meanwhile, opted to sit out the session, remaining in the garage in the knowledge that he is likely to start tomorrow’s race in P19, with a flexibility in tyre selection, barring any further penalties to rivals. Daniel exited the session in P15 behind Hulkenberg, who also failed to set a time.

In the final runs Lance Stroll put in a good lap to make it into Q3 in P8, the first time the Canadian had qualified for the top-10 shoot-out since the Italian GP of 2017.

Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly also delivered an excellent final lap to make it through to Q3 in P10.

That meant eliminated in 11th place was Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, with Williams’ Sergey Sirotkin exiting in P12 ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, Hulkenberg and Daniel.

In the final segment Hamilton seized an early advantage, with the Mercedes driver edging both Vettel and Räikkönen with a time of 1:19.390.

There was no stopping Ferrari on home soil, however, though it wasn’t Vettel who jumped to the top, but Räikkonen.

As Vettel dropped a wheel into the dirt on his final lap, Räikkönen delivered a superb lap of 1:19.119 to shatter Juan Pablo Montoya’s 2004 Monza lap record of 1:19.525. This was also quick enough to be the fastest ever lap in F1 history.

Vettel completed a Ferrari front-row lock-out with his final lap of 1:19.280 while Mercedes will start from row two with Hamilton third ahead of Bottas. Max therefore had to settle for P5 ahead of Haas’ Romain Grosjean, Renault’s Carlos Sainz, Racing Point Force India’s Esteban Ocon, Gasly and Stroll.


2018 Italian Grand Prix - Qualifying Stats:

  • P5 on the grid will be Max’s best starting position at Monza. His previous best was a P7 start with us in 2016.
  • P19 on the grid won’t be Daniel’s lowest starting spot at the Italian Grand Prix. He started 23rd for HRT in 2011.
  • The last time Daniel started the Italian GP from P19, in 2015, he finished in the points, taking eighth place.

Italian Grand Prix - Qualifying Result:

  1. Kimi Räikkönen 
  2. Sebastian Vettel
  3. Lewis Hamilton
  4. Valtteri Bottas
  5. MAX VERSTAPPEN
  6. Romain Grosjean
  7. Carlos Sainz
  8. Esteban Ocon
  9. Pierre Gasly
  10. Lance Stroll